Pupils to protest

GRADE 12 pupils and the Congress of South African Students in KwaZulu-Natal have threatened to stage a massive protest outside Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The organisation (Cosas) is demanding that the provincial department of education put into place a revision programme to assist pupils with their studies during the month-long school holidays.

Schools around the country are going to close for longer than usual because of the World Cup.

Cosas yesterday vowed to protest if the provincial department of education continue to ignore them.

The department has not arranged special classes for pupils over the holidays, but it has asked schools to develop their own plans for the holidays.

Some schools will have revision classes on Saturdays.

National Teachers' Union spokesperson Allen Thompson said there would be schools that have opted not to.

Cosas provincial secretary Andile Mkhize said they were worried that pupils would have more than enough time to engage in errant activities.

"The hype around the World Cup is going to affect teenagers. Everyone is going to be concentrating on having fun and enjoying themselves."

Mkhize blamed the provincial department of education for not developing a strict revision plan, especially for Grades 11 and 12.

Teacher unions have also expressed concern that there is no proper revision plan for Grade 12.

South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) provincial secretary Mbu-yiseni Mathonsi yesterday expressed concern that schools have been closed completely and that pupils would be caught up in the action and forget about their studies.

"I encourage every parent to make sure that not a single day should go by without seeing their children with a book in hand," Mathonsi said.

He said that the union would be having matric intervention programmes at schools in Eshowe, Hlabisa, Empangeni and Richards Bay to improve matric pass rate in these schools.

"Schools in these areas have over the years produced unsatisfactory results, and this was due to the lack of resources.

"Over the holidays our teachers have dedicated time to teach at these schools and sacrificed time to be with their families," Mathonsi said.

Thompson also encouraged pupils to make their books their best friends.

"We have encouraged teachers to hold winter classes. We know that this is going to be difficult for teachers who reside far from their schools.

"We have however asked that those close to schools assist pupils with revision of the work that has been covered," Thompson said.